AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s thin secondary received a scare that apparently looked worse than it actually was at Sunday’s practice.
Cornerback Harry Adams was placed on a stretcher and into an ambulance, then driven away from practice, but coach Tommy Tuberville said Adams’ ailment was not as serious as it appeared.
“He got the breath knocked out of him,” Tuberville. “He just couldn’t get his breath, so they just went precautionary just to make sure that he didn’t have anything else wrong with him.”
Team trainers helped Adams walk off the field after a drill and escorted him to a nearby tent, where he sat with them for several minutes until the ambulance arrived.
Tuberville said Adams’ condition improved shortly after his departure.
“He got a lot better, they said, once they took him out,” he said.
Getting a lookTuberville said prior to Saturday’s scrimmage that he would observe the new freshmen closely to help determine which of them may be able to help the team this season.
He singled out the play of running back Eric Smith, linebacker Spencer Pybus and cornerbacks D’Antoine Hood and Neiko Thorpe immediately afterwards.
After watching film of the scrimmage, Tuberville added names to the list of freshmen who impressed him, including safety Christian Thompson, defensive end Jomarcus Savage, receiver Philip Pierre-Louis and quarterback Barrett Trotter.
Trotter, he said, has thrown the ball well thus far – and even took practice reps in 11-on-11 on Sunday.Trotter is even pushing sophomore Neil Caudle for the No. 3 quarterback spot.
“I think it’s gonna be pretty close,” Tuberville said. “We’re gonna look at both of them again in (this weekend’s) scrimmage.”
He said this week will also be key in the competition at receiver, where Pierre-Louis is among a deep group of players vying for playing time.
“We’re gonna practice ‘em all this week and then what we’ll do is we’ll find out who we’re really gonna go to war with in terms of wide receivers,” Tuberville said. “We’re gonna have some guys to pick from. There’s a lot of competition there. These younger guys are pushing them.”
Although SEC coaches and media picked Ryan Shoemaker as a first-team all-conference punter, special teams coach Eddie Gran said Shoemaker is not even assured of a starting job this season.
That’s how close the competition is between Shoemaker and redshirt freshman Clinton Durst, Gran said, regardless of the preseason accolades Shoemaker received.
“We’ve had I think three times in our career as a staff, we’ve had an all-American kicker or punter going into the season and he’s gotten beaten out,” Gran said. “… But they’re battling. I like it. I like to have two punters battling.”
Auburn was down to its third center after Jason Bosley (back) and Ryan Pugh (eye) both sat out Sunday’s practice. That left offensive guard Tyronne Green and several other backup centers to handle the snapping duties – and it didn’t always go smoothly.
“It was good to put Tyronne at center. You’re gonna need three centers,” Tuberville said. “We took today to work him at center. Obviously we missed a few snaps, but that’s gonna happen.”
Receivers Robert Dunn (shoulder) and Mario Fannin (shoulder) practiced in non-contact jerseys Sunday.
The team is scheduled to practice twice today, at 9:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m., at Auburn’s intramural fields. The practices are open to the public. The team will wear full pads in the morning session. … Tuberville said the coaching staff could receive the team’s summer-school grades today.